The little red song book of the International Workers of the World, (W.W.I) was first published by a committee of Spokane, Washington locals in 1909. It was originally called Songs of the Workers, on the Road, in the Jungles, and in the Shops—Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent. It includes songs written by Joe Hill, Ralph Chaplin, T-Bone Slim, and others. Thirty-six editions were published between 1909 and 1995.
Joe Hill, born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund in Gävle, Sweden, and also known as Joseph Hillström was a Swedish-American labor activist, songwriter, cartoonist and member of the Industrial Workers of the World
Hill wrote songs expressing the harsh condition of workers and called for workers to organize their efforts to improve conditions for working people. Such songs as 'the Reble Girl, 'the Union Scab and Cassey Jones reflect this ambition to unite and organize for a better way of life. For more protest songs, see, M.H. Ross papers, series VIII and the Popular Music and Culture Collection, Sheet Music Collection.